Top 5 Best Shampoos for German Shepherd dogs in 2020 (For Dry, Itchy, or Sensitive Skin)

best dog shampoos for german shepherds

After reviewing 30 different dog shampoos, I think 4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo is the best dog shampoo for German Shepherds. This soap-free and pH balanced dog shampoo not only can make your dog smells great but relieve many skin ailments that your dog might be suffering from as well.

You can find a more detailed review of 4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo below. But first, let’s find out what to look for before buying dog shampoos for your GSD.

Preview
Best Choice
4Legger USDA Certified Organic Dog Shampoo - All Natural and Hypoallergenic with Aloe and Lemongrass, Soothing for Normal, Dry, Itchy or Allergy Sensitive Skin - Biodegradable - Made in USA - 16 oz
Runner up
Lillian Ruff Dog Oatmeal Shampoo and Conditioner Set - Safe for Cats - Lavender Coconut Scent for Itchy Dry Skin with Aloe- Deodorize and Soothe - Gentle Cleanser for Normal to Sensitive Skin (16oz.)
Pro Pet Works All Natural Organic Oatmeal Pet Shampoo Plus Conditioner - Hypoallergenic and Soap Free Blend with Aloe Gel for Allergies & Sensitive Skin- 17oz
Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo, Vanilla & Almond, 16 Ounce
Paws & Pals Natural Flea and Tick Dog Shampoo 2-in-1 Best for Cats & Dogs - Made in USA w/Medicated Clinical Vet Formula - Immediate Relief & Kills Flea or Ticks on Contact, Preventing Diseases - 20oz
Product Name
4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo
Lilian Ruff Dog Oatmeal Shampoo and Conditioner
Pro-Pet Works Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo
Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo
Paws and Pals Flea and Tick Shampoo
Rating
Best Choice
Preview
4Legger USDA Certified Organic Dog Shampoo - All Natural and Hypoallergenic with Aloe and Lemongrass, Soothing for Normal, Dry, Itchy or Allergy Sensitive Skin - Biodegradable - Made in USA - 16 oz
Product Name
4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo
Rating
Detail
Runner up
Preview
Lillian Ruff Dog Oatmeal Shampoo and Conditioner Set - Safe for Cats - Lavender Coconut Scent for Itchy Dry Skin with Aloe- Deodorize and Soothe - Gentle Cleanser for Normal to Sensitive Skin (16oz.)
Product Name
Lilian Ruff Dog Oatmeal Shampoo and Conditioner
Rating
Detail
Preview
Pro Pet Works All Natural Organic Oatmeal Pet Shampoo Plus Conditioner - Hypoallergenic and Soap Free Blend with Aloe Gel for Allergies & Sensitive Skin- 17oz
Product Name
Pro-Pet Works Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo
Rating
Detail
Preview
Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo, Vanilla & Almond, 16 Ounce
Product Name
Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo
Rating
Detail
Preview
Paws & Pals Natural Flea and Tick Dog Shampoo 2-in-1 Best for Cats & Dogs - Made in USA w/Medicated Clinical Vet Formula - Immediate Relief & Kills Flea or Ticks on Contact, Preventing Diseases - 20oz
Product Name
Paws and Pals Flea and Tick Shampoo
Rating
Detail

German Shepherd Coat Characteristics

German Shepherd is a dog that breeds mostly to do many different types of jobs that require them to spend most of the time outside such as sheepherder, police dog, an assistance dog, a therapy dog, a guard dog, and so forth.

Because of that, they develop a double coat with a short, medium, or long outer coat, and a thicker, undercoated fur, some German Shepherds even don’t have any undercoat fur at all. to protect them in all different weather conditions.

This thick, undercoat fur is what makes them quite prone to various skin problems compared with other dog breeds. If you choose the wrong type of dog shampoo, they would start to see skin outbreaks in forms of red, itchy skin and hair fall.

So, What Kinds of Shampoo are Good for German Shepherds

Because German Shepherds’ skin is quite sensitive, you want to get a dog shampoo that uses as many natural ingredients as possible, if not all. It’s simple to see if any particular shampoos are made mostly from natural ingredients or chemical ingredients, just skim through the ingredients label.

When you look at the ingredient labels, you want to see:

  • There are no artificial fragrances or colors or any preservatives.
  • There are natural fragrances (chamomile, lavender, eucalyptus, and citrus) used not chemical fragrances.
  • A dog shampoo that contains natural skin moisturizers such as vitamin E, aloe vera, honey, oatmeal, and tea tree oil.
  • A dog shampoo that is pH balanced with pH value as close to 7 as possible.

Why is pH 7 So Important for Your German Shepherd?

A pH is a value that measures how acidic or basic a certain substance is. It is measured from scale 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral.

A pH less than 7 is acidic where each whole pH value below 7 is ten times more acidic than the next higher value. A pH greater than 7 is basic where each whole pH value greater than 7 is ten times more alkaline than the next higher value.

For example, pH 5 is ten times more acidic than pH 6 and 100 times (10 times 10) more acidic than pH 7. The same holds true for pH values above.

The pH of a dog’s skin is about 7.5, so you want to get a dog shampoo that is formulated with a pH as close to 7 as possible. If you use a dog shampoo that has a pH of less than 7, the shampoo will become too acidic for your dog’s coat and skin. Over time, the shampoo will irritate your dog’s coat and skin, strip away the dog’s skin natural oil resulting in dry, irritated skin, and dull coat.

This is the reason why you must NEVER use human shampoo on your dog because human shampoo has a pH of around 4.5 – 5.5. The shampoo will become too acidic for your dog!

Other Qualities that You Want to Look For

These are the other additional qualities that you want to see:

  • The shampoo is soap-free. Soap is bad for your dog since it can dry your dog’s skin and coat, remove the skin’s natural oils, and leave an irritating and drying residue.
  • The shampoo uses hypo-allergenic cleansing ingredients.
  • It should also be easy to rinse out so there is no residue left behind that can irritate and dry your dog’s skin and coat.
  • And last but not least, the shampoo should not use or use less paraben, sulfates, and other potentially harmful chemical ingredients.

You will often see a dog shampoo that is labeled as a natural or organic dog shampoo meaning that dog shampoo uses natural ingredients only. But just to be sure, check out the ingredients list first following the guidelines above.

The Best Dog Shampoos for German Shepherds in 2020

1. 4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo

4-Legger Organic Dog Shampoo
  • DOG SHAMPOO MADE WITH USDA CERTIFIED ORGANIC OILS AND ESSENTIAL OILS: Our 100% non-toxic natural hypoallergenic pet wash is handcrafted in small batches using plant based vegan ingredients like organic coconut oil, organic lemongrass essential oil – a natural flea deterrent - and soothing aloe vera. You have our promise of no synthetic or artificial chemicals! A little goes a long way to get rid of that wet dog smell!

4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo is my top pick for the best dog shampoo for German Shepherds. This all-natural and hypoallergenic shampoo is made without ingredients that may cause allergies with Aloe and Lemongrass as its main ingredients. This dog shampoo is biodegradable, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly. From my experience, this shampoo works well for GSD with sensitive or allergy skin.

It’s safe and non-toxic, you won’t find any harsh chemical ingredients that can irritate your dog’s coat and skin –detergent-free, paraben-free, and sulfate-free. Sulfate is a chemical ingredient in the shampoo formulas that cause the stinging in the eye for humans and dogs alike. Most humans will be fine with a sulfate shampoo but this is not the case with dogs. This sulfate shampoo could cause your dog to get eye irritation and inflammation.

Compared to Earthbath, the scent is very strong but it doesn’t overpower your dog’s coat after rinsing him off. Initially, I was really concerned about the types of fragrance that they use. I was worried they would use a chemical fragrance since the shampoo left such a strong scent. But upon further inspection, they only use natural essential oil blend of rosemary and lemongrass.

It’s lather well, easy to lather and rinse. It washes off easier compared with other dog shampoos that I’ve used. After a bath, it leaves my GSD’s skin and coat ultra-soft and silky. There are also lavender or unscented options if you don’t like the smell of lemongrass.

If you’re interested in finding more information about this dog shampoo, you can find it on Amazon’s website here.

2. Lilian Ruff Dog Oatmeal Shampoo and Conditioner

Lilian Ruff Dog Shampoo and Conditioner
  • GENTLE & EFFECTIVE - Our shampoo is a gentle deep cleanser made with lavender and coconut oils which have been shown to be effective as a natural repellent of fleas and ticks. Natural oatmeal and aloe will leave your dog’s coat looking healthy, soft and shiny. Safe for dogs, cats and most pets. Makes a great gift for pet lovers. Safe for cats.

For most German Shepherds, 4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo is fine, but if you need an upgraded version, you may want to consider getting this Lilian Ruff Dog Shampoo” especially if your dog has a problem with fleas and ticks. The main ingredients of this shampoo are coconut oils, lavender, aloe, and oatmeal. Lavender and coconut oils are known to be an effective repellent for fleas and ticks while aloe and oatmeal are known to be an effective moisturizer for sensitive and allergy skin.

This shampoo lathers well, easy to rinse, and leaves a fresh coconut scent that will linger for days, though the coconut scent is a little strong and overpowered the lavender scent, something that you might want to consider if you don’t like the smell of coconut.

This shampoo is a top choice among professional groomers to treat dogs with different skin conditions like dry and itchy skin, allergy skin, and sensitive skin. To be honest, I’ve never seen any other shampoos clean as well as Lilian Ruff Shampoo. It’s a little bit pricey, but this shampoo may become the best solution if other shampoos have failed.

You can find this dog shampoo on Amazon’s website here.

3. Pro-Pet Works Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo

Pro-Pet Natural Oatmeal Shampoo
  • [MADE IN USA] VET RECOMMENDED: Our Shampoo + Conditioner formula is recommended by Vets (take a look at our vet reviews) specially formulated for pets with allergies to food, grass and flea bites. PH balanced for sensitive skin. Cherry Almond smell NO ALCOHOL, NO SULPHATES, NO ADDED COLORS, NO HARSH CHEMICALS, NO FRAGRANCE. MADE FROM ALL NATURAL INGREDIENTS. "100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE" "itchy dog shampoo, dog shampoo oatmeal

Pro-Pet Shampoo is specifically formulated and recommended for German Shepherds with allergies to food, grass, and flea bites. It is mainly formulated with organic aloe vera and almond oils with no harsh chemical ingredients used. There is no alcohol, sulfates, added colors, or artificial fragrance used.

Aloe vera is an antifungal agent that rich in vitamins A, C, and E, and clinically proven anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral while almond oil is a great moisturizer that contains nutrients and vitamins to make your dog’s coat and skin strong, soft, and shiny. The combination of these two ingredients not only can clean your dog’s coat and skin but also alleviate many skin ailments such as hot spots, flea, dandruff, and yeast infection.

It uses all-natural ingredients with the full ingredients as follow: deionized water, surfactant blend derived from natural derivatives (coconut shampoo base), organic aloe vera extracts, almond oil, hydrolyzed oat proteins, Vitamins A, D and E, glycerin glyceral stearate, wheat germ glycerides, blend of cherry botanical extracts, EGDA.

To treat a skin condition, do two times shampooing. Do a light shampooing, rinse, then shampoo the dog again and let it sit for 5 minutes before rinsing the shampoo. The two times shampooing works well to get deep into your dog’s undercoat and get to the skin.

If you’re interested in this shampoo, click here.

4. Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo

Earthbath Natural Pet Shampoo
  • Totally natural pet care, 100 percent bio degradable and cruelty free

Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo is another great alternative to choose from. Just like 4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo, this shampoo is 100% all-natural, biodegradable shampoo which means the shampoo uses 100% natural compounds without any single trace of harsh chemicals inside the shampoo — no phosphates, synthetic dyes, DEA, or any perfumes.

This shampoo is pH balanced and soap-free which keeps your dog’s skin and coat from getting irritated. I cannot stress how important it is to get a pH-balanced dog shampoo for your dog and save your dog from sudden or prolonged skin problems.

Earthbath is formulated with Oatmeal and Aloe Vera to relieve itchy skin and cure skin irritation. So not only this shampoo has a great smooth feeling, but it also helps relieve other skin disorders that your dog might be suffering from.

This shampoo also uses natural fragrances that make your dog smell even better. In total, there are 12 different scents and formulations available that you can choose from to add more variety to your dog’s bath time even though some formulas are low on scent or completely scentless. But overall this product is a good choice for your GSD.

To take a look, or buy the Earthbath pet shampoo, click here.

5. Paws and Pals Flea and Tick Shampoo

Paws and Pals Flea Shampoo
  • QUALITY SHAMPOO SCRUB FOR YOUR DOG: Your dog is a loving member of your family, they deserve the best when it comes to caring for their coat and skin. Our pet wash shampoo cleans, moisturizes, and deodorizes your cat or dogs coat while combating flea & tick infestations. It will leave your pets coat detangled and conditioned.

Paws and Pals Flea and Tick Shampoo is the last shampoo in this review. This shampoo is formulated with some of the best ingredients that work effectively to repel fleas and ticks and it works as well as many prescription treatments. However, I was a little bit concerned when I was looking at the ingredients list and saw that they use several chemical ingredients.

This shampoo smells good and lathers up well. For ticks and fleas treatment, you need to do 2 times shampooing for maximum results. It’s easy to rinse, soapless and tear-free. Your dog won’t feel irritated if the shampoo accidentally gets into his eyes or nose. However, the shampoo didn’t leave the coat as soft as the other dog shampoos in this list. So, I would recommend this shampoo only if your dog has fleas and ticks problems.

If you’re interested in this Paws and Pals shampoo, click here.

German Shepherds Grooming Guide

Bathing alone is not enough, to keep your German Shepherd’s coat and skin stay clean and shine, you need to do frequent grooming too. Frequent grooming is even more important for double-coated dog breeds like German Shepherds because they shed throughout the year. If you groom your dog well on a frequent basis, you can minimize the excess hair that sheds from your dog’s coat.

Just follow these 5 simple steps to groom your German Shepherd effectively:

1. Brush your GSD regularly

Double-coated dogs like German Shepherds need to be brushed 3-4 times a week to keep their coat shiny and free from loose hair. German Shepherds are a breed that sheds regularly throughout the year which means if you don’t brush your dog regularly, you will end up finding a lot of furballs in your home (Visit our page here: trainyourgsd.com/best-brush-for-german-shepherd/ to read my review of the best brushes for German shepherds.).

2. Bathing

Excessive bathing is not recommended for double-coated dog breeds like German Shepherds unless they have developed skin problems such as fleas and ticks. Excessive bathing will make your GSD’s skin dry, flaky and irritated. For most GSDs, once or two times per month are enough. For a complete guide on how to bathe your dog, you may want to read my post here: How to Bathe a Dog.

3. Teeth

Your GSD’s teeth need to be cleaned regularly from tartar and plaque using dog-friendly toothpaste. You can also feed your dog hard cookies or kibbles to keep his teeth and gums clean.

4. Trimming Toenails

You should check and trim your dog’s nail regularly, at least once a week.

5. Ear

You should also check and clean your dog’s ear from excess debris and wax once every week.

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